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Regional News of Monday, 28 February 2005

Source: GNA

Catholic Church launches five-year HIV/AIDS project at Obuasi

Kwabenakwakrom (Ash), Feb 28, GNA- A five-year HIV/AIDS Community Collaborative Care and Support Programme (COMCASUP) to develop the capacity of seven districts in the Ashanti Region, to cater for People Living with HIV/AIDS and their families has been launched at Kwabenakwakrom near Obuasi. The programme, which is being implemented by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Academy for Educational Development in collaboration with the Obuasi Catholic Diocese would span Adansi North and Adansi South, Amansie Central, Amansie East and Amansie West, Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma and Obuasi Municipality.

At a stakeholders' meeting to launch the project, Mr Joe Boampong acting Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive said in a speech read on his behalf that last year, the Assembly received 125 million cedis from the Ghana AIDS Commission for disbursement to nine Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He said the CBOs were engaged in creating HIV/AIDS public awareness, and support for People Living With AIDS (PLWAS). Mr Boampong observed that with the launch of the project, a new dimension was going to be opened in the fight against the pandemic, especially within the Obuasi Municipality. Mr Thomas Frimpong, the Project Coordinator, announced that the project would assist people who drop-out of school or become orphans through the pandemic.

The project, which is expected to attract major funding from USAID, would assist in mobilising community resources to ensure community ownership and sustainability of care and support for PLWAS. Dr Samuel Osei Somuah, the Municipal Director of Health Services, said commercial sex workers were being treated against sexually transmitted infections as a way of lowering the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the Municipality. Mrs Allswell Ackon, Director of Nursing Services in the Adansi South District, noted that the expected impact on HIV/AIDS activities and programmes on the society had not been encouraging because the myth surrounding the pandemic has not been broken.